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L             THE GOLDEN AGE OF ISLAM          81

cc to encourage the others." Disturbances broke out in
Persia, where the Kurds rebelled, and in Palestine and
Syria there were dangerous risings, which, however, were
put down, mainly by Turkish generals. A conspiracy
caused by the intolerance of the Caliph failed, and Wathik
might have reigned for many years and advanced the ex-
ploration of the countries to the North, in which he was
deeply interested.1 But his constitution had been ruined
by dissipation. He suffered from incessant thirst, and the
curious remedy was prescribed of exposure in an oven.
The oven was overheated, possibly by design, and Wathik
perished. With his short, inglorious reign the golden
period of Islam came to an end.

1 Datun of Modern Geography', vol. i. p. 414.

VOL. II